For the past two years, Turkey has cut off access to the popular video sharing website, YouTube. Videos had been uploaded which were received as insulting to the country's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Now, the ban has been lifted because the offending videos in question had since been removed.
Turkey has been without YouTube since 2008 and has tried working with the site to remove the videos and keep the site within Turkey law. It is a crime in Turkey to insult the country's founders or institutions, so to combat this, YouTube was blocked from the country. YouTube is aware that access to their site has been restored in the country and are investigating the circumstances to make sure the videos were removed in a legitimate way and not simply spoofing YouTube's automated copyright complaint process, according to CNET.
YouTube also sent a statement to Reuters saying the following:
We've received reports that some users in Turkey are once again able to access YouTube...We want to be clear that a third party, not YouTube, have apparently removed some of the videos that have caused the blocking of YouTube in Turkey using our automated copyright complaint process. We are investigating whether this action is valid in accordance with our copyright policy.
The ban was widely criticised, even by the president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, who used Twitter to disproved the action taken and he asked the institutes responsible for the ban for a solution. The ban came as a result of Turkey's internet law which was first used to restrict access to pornographic and harmful sites to children, but now has been used to prevent access to over 5,000 sites.
Since being lifted, Turkish users may now freely browse YouTube, and there is even more of a push to reform Turkey's internet laws for a more open system.